Published on: Tuesday, May 24, 2011
TAMPARULI: Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Co-operatives Dato' Tan Lian Hoe said ceiling prices will be enforced on 13 controlled items during the Kaamatan Festival.
The wholesale and retail items will be come under the Festive Season Price Control Scheme (FSPCS) across the State and also in Labuan for seven days beginning on May 25.
"It is the first time this scheme will be carried out under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act, which came into force on April 1 this year," Tan said after witnessing a MoU signing between the Ministry, Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia and Sabah Law Association (SLA) at the Tun Hamdan Hall here, Monday.
"The Ministry set the prices in accordance to price monitoring conducted state-wide and in Labuan from January to April this year," she said.
Tan added that feedback from the Federal and State government agencies helped with setting the ceiling price for the items.
"Traders are encouraged to sell at a lower price than the ceiling price if they obtained the items at a lower price," Tan said.
The law states that traders should sell their wares for no more than the maximum price set by the Government and pink-labelled price tags should be placed on the controlled items to differentiate them from other items.
"Extreme action will be taken on those who fail to abide by the rules of the scheme," she said.
Under the Act, companies are subject to a compound of not more than RM500,000 and individuals are subject to a compound of not more than RM100,000 or a jail term of not more than three years or both, if they fail to follow the rules, Tan said.
"The ministry will continue with its efforts to protect the consumers from profiteering by unethical traders during the festive season and enforcement officers will be placed in popular locations such as the central market to monitor and conduct inspections on traders," she said.
Tan explained that the Ministry has distributed information on the ceiling prices to traders and the public.
"This scheme is to ensure consumers will be able to obtain these items during the festive season at a reasonable price and to prevent an excessive increase in prices," she said.
Consumers can file complaints by sending an e-mail to the Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the toll-free line at 1-800-886-800 or visit any of the Ministry's offices across the State and Labuan.
The list of controlled items are, live chicken , standard chicken, super chicken, chicken wing, local beef, local buffalo meat, imported buffalo meat (India), imported bone-in mutton, Grade A chicken eggs, Grade B chicken eggs, Grade C chicken eggs, pork (belly) and pork (lean and fat).
Earlier, Tan said, since the establishment of the Consumer Claims Tribunal in 1999 until May 18 this year, 97.86pc of cases have been solved nationwide.
"In Sabah alone, 2,765 cases from 2,784 filed cases have been solved, which amounts to 99.31pc of cases solved," she said.
Tan explained that under the MoU the Ministry has taken the initiative to help consumers by implementing the Free Legal Aid Programme with the cooperation of SLA and Bank Rakyat.
"This programme ensures that consumers will get free legal aid (pro bono) and Bank Rakyat will reimburse the court fees that do not amount to more than RM 500 per case," she said.
Also at hand were, SLA President Datuk John Sikayun, Tribunal Chairman Pretam Singh a/l Darshan Singh, Kiulu Assemblyman Louis Rampas, Bank Rakyat Managing Director Dato' Kamaruzaman Che Mat and delegates of MDCC.